Shillong, Feb 13 : Help to sex workers and single mothers besides the need to address the trend of teenage pregnancies are the priorities of new women’s commission chairperson Phidalia Toi.
The chairperson said the issue of single mothers in the state is serious and hence it needs immediate attention.
“The number of abandoned mothers seeking maintenance for their children from deserting fathers is on the rise,” she said.
Meghalaya has the second largest number of mother-headed households in the country as per the 2011 census, Toi said.
The commission has carried out a study on single mothers and it will be made public soon.
The chairperson said another critical problem the women of the state face is the teenagers begetting children and abandoned by their husbands leaving them burdened with heavy responsibilities.
“So apart from helping the abandoned mothers, I would also like to find the answer to the question – why does a father have no remorse for leaving his wife and children?” Toi wanted to know.
She said that the commission will work to find a solution to curb the menace of child abandonment.
According to the chairperson, the society cannot turn a blind eye to the issue of sex workers just because some don’t like the topic or profession.
“We need to acknowledge that reality is more complex than what we want to see or think,” she said, adding that one of her priorities is also to help the sex workers who are at the receiving end of exploitation.
Toi said she wants them to be responsible citizens and not to be involved in human trafficking and to see that no underage girls are forced into sex work.
‘I will also try my level best to find out ways and means to prevent sex workers’ children from falling into the trap and getting sucked into the sex trade as there is no way out for them due to ostracism”, she said
On the pending cases of crime against women, the chairperson has already sought a status report from the police.